The Connected Age: Being the Best You Can by Reinventing Your World, by Sudhakar Ram, reviewed for Enlivening Edge by Priya Florence Shah
See Enlivening Edge’s interview of Sudhakar Ram here.
At a time when the human race is searching for answers to questions of over-consumption of natural resources, global warming, ecological destruction and sustainable living, The Connected Age brings a ray of hope.
According to author Sudhakar Ram, The Connected Age is this pivotal moment in human history that offers us the opportunity to create a sustainable, inclusive future for the world and all its people. “The time is ripe to usher in a new reality and new form of living on this planet,” he notes.
In the book, he outlines how our lives are now ruled by seven constructs that drive our attitudes and actions: success, learning, work, consumption, wellness, governance, and globalization. He unequivocally states that we need new constructs to help us take the next leap in history.
Ram’s book not only asks the all-important questions about the current unsustainable lifestyles we follow, but also provides solutions that work and that need to be discussed, if we are to create a healthier planet for future generations.
One of the questions he asks is whether we need to move beyond material measures of success – wealth, market cap, GDP, and so on – to more holistic measures of success in the New Age. It’s definitely a sentiment worthy of consideration as the new generation of millennials look beyond their parents’ experience to create lives of meaning and purpose.
Sudhakar Ram believes that, instead of commandeering all of Earth’s resources for our benefit, we need to honour our connections with the world and our dependence on all of nature. We need to mend our ways and work in harmony with nature. “We seem to have unnecessarily complicated our lives and taken ourselves away from the reality of being human,” he states.
Although he heads an organisation that works in the field of technology, Ram observes that whilst technology can be an enabler, it can also distract us from our true connectedness. His intention in writing this book is for all of us to get over our sense of powerlessness and live a more powerful and meaningful life as engaged leaders and citizens of this glorious planet.
From economics to education, Sudhakar Ram presents alternative ways of living and being that we can no longer afford to ignore. He sees the Connected Age as a larger transformation at the individual, social, economic, political, and spiritual levels. “If the last hundred years are anything to go by, aren’t we justified in expecting dramatic changes in the next hundred?” he asks.
Ram also advocates for changes in the healthcare system. “Will approaches to health care be more holistic, treating the entire human being, and more open to alternative systems of healing in the coming age?” he wonders. Considering that holistic approaches to health are showing great promise, the shift is probably inevitable.
He has great hope that India will spearhead this transformation because having almost skipped the Industrial Age, India has a better chance of leapfrogging the West and China to the Connected Age – particularly since many of the Connected Age ideals and principles resonate well with the Indian worldview.
Ram also believes in the diversity of the human experience. He notes, “When you stand up for making the world more inclusive and sustainable, humanity will benefit no matter how you decide to express yourself. The more diverse the voices and actions, the more robust the process and the greater the impact.”
It’s an important lesson for all of us, at a point where there are so many seeking to create divisions in Indian society, each one claiming that their way of life is best.
As he writes, “This book is a call to you to expand your own horizons, develop your points of view on what the world needs, and declare your own vision for the world of the twenty-first century – a vision that inspires and propels you to make a difference in your world.”
For anyone who cares about their ecological footprint and their impact on the Earth and its people, The Connected Age offers solutions that can help us create gentler, more sustainable, and more inclusive lifestyles.
Priya Florence Shah is a blogger in India, and CEO of Blog Brandz, who has post-graduate diplomas in journalism and been listed as one of the top Social Media Experts to follow in India. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering Indian women to look beyond their limitations and live their best lives. To that end, shae has written a number of books, and publishes blogs like Naaree.com (one of the top women’s magazines in India) and LovingYourChild.com.